CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 29, 2010 |
In his slate-blue suit and Republican-red tie, John Yoo stands out as discordantly formal among the denim- and turtleneck-clad faculty at Boalt Hall School of Law. Never mind how his politics play in what he derides as "the People's Republic of Berkeley." The former Bush administration lawyer who drafted what his critics call the "torture memos" is reviled by many in this liberal East Bay academic enclave, a feeling that is mutual though not, Yoo insists, wholly unpleasant. "I think of myself as being West Berlin during the Cold War, a shining beacon of capitalism and democracy surrounded by a sea of Marxism," Yoo observes, sipping iced tea in the faculty club lounge, a wan smile registering the discomfort of colleagues walking by en route to the bar. He sees his neighbors as the human figures of "a natural history museum of the 1960s," the Telegraph Avenue tableau of a graying, long-haired, pot-smoking counterculture stuck in the ideology's half-century-old heyday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 19, 2010 |
Attorneys for Roman Polanski petitioned a state appellate court Thursday to drop the criminal case against the director, citing secret discussions between high-ranking prosecutors and the judge during the director's 1977 case. Polanski's lawyers described "communications" that involved Laurence J. Rittenband, the original judge in the case, and two top officials at the district attorney's office, Michael Montagna and Stephen Trott. After the discussions, Trott and Montagna then blocked an effort by the prosecutor on the case to have Rittenband removed, according to the 68-page court filing.
January 20, 2010 |
Something strange happened during the 1993 murder trial of Marcus Wellons. Outwardly, the Supreme Court observed Tuesday, the trial "looked typical." But "there were unusual events going on behind the scenes." For example: The Georgia judge in the case spoke outside court to jurors who had gathered at a local restaurant. And after Wellons was convicted and sentenced to die, jurors presented the female judge with a gift of "chocolate shaped as male genitalia," as the Supreme Court recounted it. If that were not enough, they gave the bailiff a chocolate gift "shaped as female breasts."
January 7, 2010 |
Launching a prosecutorial misconduct defense that was effective for Broadcom Corp. executives, former KB Home Chief Executive Bruce Karatz has accused federal prosecutors of manipulating witnesses in his upcoming option-backdating trial. In a motion filed this week in federal court in Los Angeles, Karatz's attorney said two former KB Home employees who once supported Karatz later changed their accounts after meeting with federal prosecutors and FBI agents. The attorney cited the change as an indication of prosecutorial misconduct.
December 17, 2009 |
The stunning dismissals of criminal cases against three former Broadcom Corp. executives in the last week focused on what the judge called "shameful" misconduct by prosecutors. But at the core, he had something more telling to say: Prosecutors couldn't prove the defendants did anything wrong. The Broadcom cases, among others, illustrate the struggles the U.S. attorney's office has encountered in prosecuting corporate executives for backdating stock options, a practice that makes it appear that their companies had fewer expenses and greater income than they really had. Among the most elusive elements in such cases, lawyers said, is proof that executives intended to commit a crime by backdating the options and conceal their actions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 11, 2009 |
An attorney for Roman Polanski urged a California appeals court panel Thursday to throw out the filmmaker's 1977 child sex case, citing what he called an "astonishing record of misconduct" by the district attorney's office and the judge who originally handled the case. Chad S. Hummel argued that Judge Laurence J. Rittenband improperly discussed with a prosecutor how to punish Polanski and threatened to lock up the director for a longer period if his attorney challenged the judge's decision to return Polanski to prison.